James J. Hill Center to Facilitate Entrepreneur Development Program
The interior of the James J. Hill Center. ( Photo by Jonathunder/CC)

James J. Hill Center to Facilitate Entrepreneur Development Program

The St. Paul business center will host a nine-week program to help small business owners move ideas and actions forward.

Small business owners in the North Star State will have the opportunity to network and learn new aspects of business development, through Co.Starters, a new offering from the James J. Hill Center.

Co.Starters is a nine-week, cohort-based program which aims to narrow the gap between the aid that small-scale startups receive compared to their high-growth counterparts. It serves communities across the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, and the upcoming Minnesota edition will be the first in the state.

The St. Paul-based James J. Hill Center will act as the facilitator of the program, as part of the nonprofit business center’s mission to support business, entrepreneurs and community, and to help create an improved downtown business ecosystem. The Hill hopes Co.Starters will assist budding entrepreneurs in strengthening their business itself or the early concept for one.

“Co.Starters at the Hill compliments the growth we are feeling in Minnesota and will be the glue that makes it stick,” said Tamara Prato, executive director of the James J. Hill Center.

The program taps successful startup veterans and other business leaders from around the globe, and touches on business modeling methods, with an emphasis on building and testing small models first rather than writing a detailed business plan.

“Co.Starters provides a structure for these communities to achieve their economic growth goals and gives them an easy way build the connections they are already trying to grow,” said Co.Starters founder Enoch Elwell.

The first Co.Starters program at the hill will kick off September 25, 2018. Applications for the 15 participant spots are currently being accepted.